A Scare

Thursday, July 28, 2011

So today started out being a pretty ordinary day.

We had slept in, got up and had our coffee and computer time. 

Kimm was due for an online seminar at 11 am so I was going to call my parents since I haven’t talked to them in a while. 

I had called home, got my mom on the phone and then she said, “here talk to your dad first” (I guess he was going to go take a nap). 

When my dad got on the phone he was talking to me, but he just wasn’t making any sense.  He did manage to say that he didn’t feel too good.  And I said, “You don’t sound too good.  What’s wrong?” 

And that’s when I knew something was wrong.  My dad was talking to me but he couldn’t even formulate a full sentence.  It was like he started the sentence and then forgot mid-way through what he was trying to say. 

I immediately stopped him and said, “Put Mom back on the phone.”  And it was like he wasn’t hearing me, he just kept trying to say whatever he was trying to say.  So I repeated, “Put Mom back on the phone.”

Finally my mom got on the phone and I said, “What’s going on with Dad?”  She proceeds to tell me that he got up in the middle of the night and she didn’t realize he was up until two hours later when she got up to go to the bathroom and he was lying on the couch moaning.  Turns out he was dry heaving and he also had a high fever (102).  Then she mentions that his leg is warm and swollen and red.  I immediately think, “DVT.” Even though I know it’s probably more likely cellulitis

But I tell my mom, “Get Dad to the hospital now…go to the ER.”  She says to me, “Well do you think I should go to Urgent Care?”  “No, no, go to the ER.” 

Later on she calls me to tell me that they ruled out a DVT but he does have cellulitis.  They did blood work and are giving him IV antibiotics.  He’s probably going to be discharged with oral antibiotics.

Until I get another call from my mom—my dad’s blood pressure dropped into the 80s and now they are going to admit him to the ICU.

What?

ICU is serious.

Thankfully the intensivist called me and explained everything.  Funny thing…he is a pulmonologist and actually got my dad started on the CPAP for his sleep apnea 14 years ago!  Turns out that my dad was diagnosed with sepsis.  Anyways, they did a chest x-ray which looked okay, his urine was okay, his blood pressure is stable.  He’s on three different antibiotics (Zosyn, Vancomycin, and Clindamycin).  He’s getting IV fluids.  They will be checking blood work tonight and then again in the morning. 

If he stays stable throughout the night, he will be transferred to a general med/surg floor tomorrow.

I’m just glad he’s in a unit where he gets the extra attention tonight. 

Turns out that the doctor was pretty amazed about the cellulitis—he couldn’t find one thing that would cause it (no scratches, no puncture marks…strange, huh?)

Both the intensivist and my dad’s own doctor (who came to visit him) said that it was good that he came in when he did. 

I finally feel like all the knowledge I’ve garnered since becoming a nurse had made a difference. 

I’m really hoping for a speedy recovery for my dad.

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Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Phew, that was an amazing catch. Yes, all those years of study and work are indeed paying of. Let’s hope he’s gonna do just fine. It’s great you were able to catch this and send him to the hospital right away. I’m sure they’re both very proud of you, and they should be 😉


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